In this brief, we explore the reality of finding employment after prison from the perspective of 740 former male prisoners in Illinois, Ohio, and Texas. Interviews were conducted as part of a comprehensive, longitudinal study entitled Returning Home: Understanding the Challenges of Prisoner Reentry. Eight months after prison, 65 percent of respondents had been employed at some point, but only 45 percent were currently employed. Those who held a job while in prison or participated in job-training programs had better employment outcomes after release. Respondents who were employed and earning higher wages after release were less likely to return to prison the first year out.
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